Tourism boon for countries around the world love flock to visit placeds and locations of the award-winning fantasy saga

The group, tourists from Britain, Germany, the US and half a dozen non-eu countries, followed the guide deep into Tollymore Forest and collected around a tree stump.

” Girl and gentlemen, cameras ready ,” said Eric Nolan, who the hell is chaperoned them from Dublin to this state park in Northern Ireland the coming week. “This,” he said placing, “is where Kit Harington’s arse sat.”

Nolan grinned and contained a poster-sized screenshot demonstrate Harington, the actor who plays Jon Snow, indeed sitting on the stump in an early occurrence of Game of Thrones.

The guests assembled around the stump and aimed their cameras. Click, clink, clink. It was probably the least spectacular time of the day-long tour- there would be a castle, replica weapons and petting wolf-like hounds- and still these people were enchanted.

Such is the spell cast by the HBO fantasy saga, which returns to screens on 14 April for the eighth and final season, a television phenomenon with 30 million admirers in the US and millions of others in the UK, where it is broadcast on Sky Atlantic.

The tale of rival fields, duels, bonking and dragons in Westeros has acquired 47 Emmys thanks to blockbuster funds, stellar geniu and source textile in the form George RR Martin’s bestselling novels.

The show has also created a tourism boon for Northern Ireland, which hosts most of the filming, gleaning the thousands of fans to set and spots and PS30m in spending each year, according to Tourism Ireland.

The agency has negotiated a licence agreement with HBO recognising Northern Ireland as official Game of Thrones territory, facilitating multiple spin-offs and a certain irony: a tourism industry stunted by the Troubles now obtained from imaginary mayhem.

Grace Kurosaka, left, and Victoria Niblett, friends from Alabama, in Tollymore Forest. Photograph: Rory Carroll/ The Guardian

More than 150,000 people have viewed an 80 -metre long tapestry outlining vistums from the show, including coronations, beheadings and injures, at the Ulster Museum. It will be displayed later this year alongside the medieval Bayeux Tapestry in Normandy.

” One thing that realise Game of Thrones so favourite is its macrocosms are so recognisable ,” said Victoria Niblett, 24, a student and dancer from Alabama who toured Tollymore Forest dressed as Daenerys, the dragon-whispering heir of the Targaryen dynasty.” Here you can immerse yourself; it’s a coexistence of actuality and fantasy .”

Some of her friends donned woolen masks resembling those worn by the Stark family, a procession which prompted one startled dog-walker to wonder if they were part of a Celtic ritual.

” One thing I can tell you about the mega-fans is that they’re mental ,” said Nolan, 30, an ebullient Dubliner. When not guiding bus-loads around Northern Ireland he works as an additional on the indicate playing a primitive Wildling, which contractually necessitates a long beard and long hair.

Ryan Fahey, a US air force pilot, dons a cloak during a Game of Thrones tour. Photograph: Rory Carroll/ The Guardian

During tours some fans go on bended knee and is prepared to marriages, he said. One couple speak fluent High Valyrian, a fictional language developed by Martin, having learned it from an app.” They come from everywhere: Alaska, you identified it .”

But after the final escapade breaths on 19 May and sees apparently learn the fates of Cersei Lannister, Sansa Stark, Lady Brienne and other references, and discover whether zombie White Walkers seize the Iron Throne, will interest ebbing and tourist numerals diminish? To paraphrase Jon Snow, is winter coming for Game of Thrones tourism?

Rob Dowling, the managing director of Game of Thrones Tours, which moves 30 coaches a week from Belfast and Dublin, is not annoyed.” Look at the other things happening ,” he said. HBO is due to start filming a prequel spinoff series this year, which could hook followers for another decade. The TV network is also preparing to turn four locatings and decides into visitor attractiveness, promising a” magnitude and scope bigger than anything the public has ever known “.

The tourists in Tollymore Forest did not incredulity Game of Thrones would thrive beyond the screen just like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings attractions.

” It’s because of the characters. You have your favourites and the ones you detest ,” said Nikki Basquine, inspecting with her father from England.

A tourist on the Game of Thrones trail in Tollymore Forest. Photograph: Rory Carroll/ The Guardian

Ryan Fahey, an air force pilot from Arizona , memorandum the peril of having favourites.” You start rooting for beings and then they die .”

There have been 174,373 deaths in the demo even further, according to one estimate .

Jeff Carbaugh, 56, was confident the popularity would endure. He and his bride Lara, 53, flew 7,000 miles from their home in Hawaii to honeymoon in real life Westeros.” I acquainted her to Game of Thrones. If she liked it she was a keeper ,” he joked.

Nolan declined to divulge information about the upcoming season. HBO would come gazing-” I’d be shoot”- and as a mega-fan himself he does not want to give spoilers.

As the tour bus heading toward its next destination he shared goodies about gruelling battle sequences-” 25 daytimes kicking the shit out of each other for your amusement”- and Kit Harington’s allure.” He’s proper good face. I’m not lesbian. He only is .”


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